Spring showers bring flowers, so when the sun finally begins to shine again, we’re sure to have plenty. If you’re looking to surround yourself with nature’s beauty, stop and smell the roses (or tulips, or daffodils…) at one of these gorgeous gardens, right here in the Philadelphia area. –Chelsea Karnash
54th St. & Lindbergh Blvd.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19143
Open everyday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Bartram’s Garden is the oldest living botanic garden in the U.S., and it’s located right here in Philadelphia. Yes, in the city! The site includes a wildflower meadow, river trail, wetland and farm buildings (in addition to the historic garden), and they offer tours on the weekends.
Though the trek to get to Bartram’s passes through some, ahem, less-than-beautiful neighborhoods, it’s worth the journey. And you’ll be in good company—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin have all spent time at Bartram’s. Check the website for plant sales and other events.
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
1635 River Rd.
New Hope, Pa. 18938
Tues. – Sun., 8:30 a.m. to sunset
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve spans 134-acres and showcases over 800 species of plants. From bird walks to papermaking, the venue offers a slew of activities, tours and events, year-round. Plus, the preserve’s informative website has already done the research for you, and includes lists of “What’s in Bloom,” according to month.
Guided tours are offered April 1 thru October (“Spring Lovelies: Wildflowers of Spring” anyone?), and plant sales abound, so check their website.
786 Church Rd.
Wayne, Pa. 19087
Mar. 30 – Oct. 30, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
From the haunting Ruin & Gravel to the ethereal Orchard, there are so many stunning gardens at Chanticleer that more than one visit is definitely necessary. Since it opened to the public in 1993, this flowering family heirloom is an amateur photographer’s dream (they offer classes, too!)…and a Romantic’s. Be sure to check the website—tours are only offered on certain days, and on some dates, the museum keeps earlier or later hours than usual.
The Highlands Mansion & Gardens
7001 Sheaff Lane
Ft. Washington, Pa. 19034
Every day, dawn to dusk
This 44-acre historical site features an 18th century Georgian mansion, numerous outbuildings and a 2-acre formal garden, all surrounded by massive stone walls. The site also offers a number of educational and children’s programs, plus tours.
1001 Longwood Rd.
Kennett Square, Pa. 19348
Until Mar. 24: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mar. 25 – May 27: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Perhaps the most popular and celebrated gardens in the Greater Philadelphia Area, Longwood Gardens is chock-full of events, activities, entertainment and exhibits. With 1050 acres and 20 indoor and 20 outdoor gardens, there’s almost too much to see. Simplify your spring trip, however, with their “What’s in Bloom” section, which contains links to download up-to-date weekly indoor and outdoor garden highlights.
Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania
100 E. Northwestern Ave.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19118
Apr. – Oct.; Weekdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Weekends, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ninety-two acres of 13,000+ labeled plants, trees and flowers, plus more than 100 classes, workshops and tours make Morris Arboretum a bastion of beauty and education. Check out flowering trees and shrubs like witchazels, winterhazels, magnolias, cherries, maples, dogwoods, rhododendrons and azaleas, crabapples, roses, and stewartia, all of which are in bloom from March through June.
Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College
500 College Ave.
Swarthmore, Pa. 19081
Every day, dawn to dusk
Swarthmore College’s entire campus is beautiful, but the 300 acres occupied by the Scott Arboretum are particularly picturesque. With over 4000 ornamental plants, Scott offers the opportunity to take in some fresh air and get a college tour. FYI: Spring is the perfect time to visit the Cherry Collection, featuring 34 varieties of cherry trees.
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, Del. 19735
Tues. – Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Winterthur spans over 1000 acres and includes a 60-acre naturalist garden. Take a walk or a tram tour through the garden, and make sure the kids explore the fairy-tale inspired Enchanted Garden. Check Winterthur’s blog for information on what’s currently in bloom.